"No human, nor any living thing, survives long under the eternal sky. The most beautiful women, the most learned men, even Mohammed, who heard Allah's voice, all did wither and die. All is temporary. The sky outlives everything. Even suffering." - Bowa Johar, Balti poet.

11 December 2008

Britney Spears…Sheep killings… Humdullah!

Salamu 3alkum!

Well I thought that today would be the perfect day to get everyone updated on life here in Skoura while my host father is upstairs killing one of the two sheep for L3id Kibir. I am zoning out the sound of the sheep screams with some annoying Britney Spears because her voice is so off pitch and annoyingly loud that I cannot hear anything else. PERFECT. The only time I listen to that woman is when I was back home in the states, having a few vodka tonics and wanting to dust a move to some pop music on the night club dance floor. I am an 80’s music fan above all things, but sometimes you just gatta cave into the music your generation is known to sadly enjoy, and also one dollar You-Call-It’s are hard to say no to. Oh how I miss home at this moment, and it is sadly from mentioning Britney Spears.
Life here in Skoura has been getting better week-by-week. My first week here was a nightmare due to sickness, eviction, no language skills to communicate in my community (still true to this day), and my moudir and I not yet seeing eye-to-eye on things to be done at the Dar Chabab (youth building in DDarija), but I know in time it will change. That first week was a bit overwhelming, but look! I have survived! I know that there will be more challenges along the way of this road I call Peace Corps, but I am here to enjoy the ride. If that means some drama, then so be it. I am here to do a job and enjoy Morocco, and it is just like life back in America, shit happens… but I guess in America there is no real language barrier but you can at moments not understand a darn word one American is saying to another. Got to love American slang.
I will start teaching at my Dar Chabab after L3id Kibir. Last week I gave oral and written tests in English so I know where all the kid’s levels are in the language. There are some that impressed me very much and others that just need a little more help, but will get to their level in time. I also met up with some of the kids to see what kind of classes they wanted me to teach. They all want English at all levels (beginner to BAC advanced, and even Adult classes which should be fun), an English movie night, and both a girl and boy sport class. The boys want to learn volleyball and the girls I think want to learn Yoga or hip-hop. I know yoga but hip-hop… umm not really. I might have to ask for hip-hop DVD’s to learn, there is ALWAYS youtube The kids want me to teach more, but with never teaching English until I got to Morocco, I am taking it slow, but I promised more classes by February so the kids that are taking the BAC exam have more time with me to get ready for it.
The BAC here is the SAT of Morocco, but it is more intense because if they do not pass this exam, they cannot go to college and they will have retaken the WHOLE year and takes the exam again. I mean in the USA if you do not do well on the SAT it is hard to get into a college, but you can still go or at least go to a community college and work your way up. In Morocco, that is not an option. It is common sadly in this country for only 30% of high school students to pass this test. I am not joking when i say that this is a hard test. There are some things on that exam, at least in English I could not answer, and that is my mother tongue. I hope to help the kids in my town as much as I can to be prepared for that exam. It might also help me with my grammar as well in English.

Maybe I will return from Morocco with a better understanding of my own languageJ Forced into learning the grammar rules of English.
It has been decent weather here in Skoura. It has been getting very cold at night, but warm throughout the day. It is very different from the people living north of me in Morocco working for Peace Corps. They have gotten at least 15 cm of snow since last week. I am from Michigan and therefore used to the snow, but it is nice to not have to live in a city where there will be snowfall. I can see plenty of it from my window that is on top of the High Atlas Mountains. I will miss the snow once Christmas comes around, but that will probably be the only time. I am enjoying the weather so far, but from what I have been hearing from the locals in the area, once April arrives in this part of the country until November, it is unbearably hot and annoying. I remember the PCV I replaced here telling me that there was days when she just sat on her terrace and literally watched her jeans dry because it was so hot and also there was nothing else to do in that town. My moudir leaves during the summer months (May through August) and if he is not at the Dar Chabab, I cannot be in the Dar chabab, so I will have a lot of free time on my hands. I hope though to do summer camps and help out at other associations in my town if they are even open as well. Skoura becomes a ghost town in the summer because of the heat and also it is summer break for kids and traveling is HUGE here. I may even take some time off to see the country moreJ save up my two days off a month and really enjoy Morocco or maybe go to Europe. Who knows where life will take in 6 months or even 3.
I am missing my friends from Peace Corps lately, but talking on Skype has been a blessing for me and communicating with other PCVs in Morocco. If anyone in American has skype OR wants to talk to me whenever for free, download the program called Skype (free download). It is a free way to talk online with people all over the world. It even works to call peoples cell phones through the computer. It is only like 2 cents a minute; a lot cheaper for me than spending 50 Dh on a phone card and using that up within a ½ hour. I can spend 3 hours online at a local cyber and pay about 15 Dh for the whole time. My name on Skype is: hillarylynn23, so if anyone misses me to the point of getting this, you know my screen name to contact meJ Once I find my own apartment in Skoura I will be buying wireless internet so I can be online as much as I want and available for people to contact me better.
Well I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was amazing and that they had enough turkey and stuffing to last you until next holiday. I also want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope that everyone has an enjoyable holiday, a lot of food and spirits to be eaten and drank, and the warmth of friends and family to surround them until 2009 gets here. I will be thinking of all of you during these next few weeks and hoping to find some eggnog somewhere in this country or maybe try to decorate a palm treeJ No one here knows about Christmas, so it is up to me to spread some holiday cheer around here and if it does not work out, at least I triedJ If I have to go through sheep killings for Abraham and all that jazz from the Old Testament, I think I can get some of my family members in Skoura to sing, “Its Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” or maybe pop in the video White Christmas and sting some popcorn to place around my bedroom door or something. Wish me luck in trying to get that translated in to DDarija for me.
Well I am off to help my host sisters try to make the food for the big dinner tonight. I have tried to help in the kitchen a bit, but whenever I enter that room, something gets broken so I am not sure which duty they will bestow upon me with out it ending in some or of damage to property. Mom you wouldn’t be proud of me in the kitchen here in Morocco, but then again you know how much cooking experience I have and the kind of food I prepare (organic cereal and raw veggies with hummus). What else can they ask from me? J I can make some good food, but with the supplies that are given to me here, I am limited on what I am used to making back in the states. That now said I could now push myself in creating new masterpieces of culinary art that will astonish the masses! I am on a mission to come back to my host family’s house and make them something that will wow and amaze. It might take a while, but I WILL succeed!

MISS EVERYONE!!!! Keep me updated on things back home and tell me how my Red Wings are going this season! 3afak.
Hillarylynn23@hotmail.com (this is also my MSN screen name) or
Skype me at: hillarylynn23

Tbark llah 3lik!

15 November 2008

LPI nightmare but there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

I am FINALLY done with PST ... have taken the LPI and now wait to be sworn in on the 20th of November in Fez!!!! 

06 November 2008

I GOT MY SITE PLACEMENT!!!!! THE PLACE I WILL NOW CALL HOME IS...... SKOURA!!! located in the Prv. of Ouarazazate!!!! If you want my address just e-mail me and i will send it to you:) once i am in my site for good (after swearing in) i will tell you alll about this little town.

23 October 2008

CBT part JUJ!!

well it is almost time for me to sayBaslama to chilly Imouzzer to head back to Azrou to get my OFFICIAL site placement!! i am very excited and nervous at the same time:) i would love to stay here, but also i am up for an adventure! muski mushkil as the Moroccans here like to say ( no worries). I have been teaching English classses at the Dar Chabab and taking part in one of the ' skits that the youth are putting on soon at the dar chabab. It has been a blast trying to play a tree that grows and dies without laughing throughout the whole thing:)

i am swiya missing home. I am missing out on a beautiful fall season in Michigan and pumpkin carving for me as of now, but i hope to do it here:) Maybe i will wear my new Jillaba as a costume??? it is pretty zwena (beautiful) if i do say so myself. Sorry that writing letters and keeping in touch has been REALLY slow, but i think until i get to my finale site... this are kinda up in the air for me communication wise at least.

Snow is starting to fall on the mountain caps in the Middle Atlas Mountains and it has been almost daily of walking through clouds and not being able to see 25 feet in front of you... fun but kinda odd at night: Good trick or treat weather someone told me the other day with the street lights glowing through the clouds, and i will have to agree.

Darija is SLOWLY going... i just want to pass the test that i will be taking in Nov. and i will be thankful.. Inchella! (God willing).

How are things back in the States and around the world going???

Is everyone getting ready for the BIG vote coming up in the next 2 WEEKS! i sadly have yet to even get my ballot!! so i am hopeing for a big Blue win in Michigan!!!

BTW almlost forgot! i went to FEZ the other day and went shopping in the OLD MADEINA!!! very nice place. really hot with palm trees, but just go 30 mins up the moutains from FEZ and u will find yourself in chilly Imouzzer:)

i love and miss you all!! keep in touch! i have a MSN messager now so bug me on that instead of AIM whiwh does not work here really......shocking uh :)


09 October 2008

letters make me smile:)

YIPPY! i got my first letter in the mail yesterday and it was from my buddy hold the fort down in GR.. miss. amber o! thank you so much hun! today i got a letter from my aunt Kathy and to the both of you THANK YOU THANK YOU! it made my week of constant workshops worth while by reading the letters after my lessons. Things here in Azrou are down right COLD! it feels like Michigan does right when the first snow is about to fall... i am not a fan. What sucks more is that my CBT site is 40 mins north from here so i can only imagine how cold it will be for me on saturday when i return back there for anothe 19 day work session. We have been celebrating birthdays like crazy over here at the YD hostel.. 3 awesome people and one person whos birthday is not until april got a card due to us mixing up the months and days of her birthday.. it was a funny moment. My CBT site has been doing some work while my group has been away in Azrou this week and that makes me so excited about returning and working with them! I just hope we have enough time to do all the tasks that they youth want to do withing those 19 days. No worries.. my CBT group are rockstars:)
I am wondering how things are going on back home for everyone.. enough about me:) I would LOVE to know how my Red WIngs are doing and to hear about how AWESOME the outdoor game was the other day.. tears to not being able to watch that!
the henna that i got done over a week ago is STILL ON MY SKIN and i believe that it will never come off..:) haha. it is still pretty cool looking.
i have sent out some post cards but the cost of sending a letter to you guys back home is WAY $$$ in Dirhams. I will try to write everyone if i can save up the money, but online is always free:)
I am still having a hard time realizing that i have now been in MOrocco for over a month! it does not even feel like it at all which is a good sign i think. I am still wondering where PC will be putting me for the next two years.. they have yet to tell us. I will find out around Halloween where the new city i will be calling home will be. I hope i will like it.
i am not that picky. i would love to stay in Imouzzer, but due to the issue of cat-calls by the men being a bit too much in that town from the past, it is a male site.. but who knows..maybe we can change PC mind on that:) I havent had any issues like that there.. i mean yes to the cat-calls, but nothing too extreme. I just will miss my awesome host family! they have really taken me in and made me feel like i am part of their family. Even while i am away this week, they are keep tabs on me and calling to ask to see if i am okay and that if i need anything.. i love that group to death:)
going from my CBT site to my actual site will be a hard and major change, but i am also excited about what will be happening next in my life here in Morocco with Peace Corps.
I do miss home and now with Halloween coming up and not being able to hang out with Matthew, Becky, and James at the bar... do the fun KCAD halloween parties, and be able to wear my usual 3 costumes i buy for this makes me kinda sad, but i know that Halloween here will be a fun time and an experience to see how Moroccans view this day and how similar and different it is to us in the States.. be prepared for stories:)
Well it is getting dark here and i still need to walk back to my Hostel to eat some dinner! It was great catching up with ya'll!
Be safe and take care.. i will be bugging you again soon on my blog:)
Lila sieda!
(happy night)

25 September 2008


Hello all from my CBT site located in Immouzzer! I have never lived so high in the mountians before and i love it! waking up and going for a walk and finding yorself walking through the cloud, it is an amazing feeling. I will try to put up some photos while i am here, but virus and electonic issues are HUGE here in Morocco and i do not want to risk my computer or USB stick to any bad bugs or issues at this moment. The Darija lessons are everyday for about 4 hors a day... LONG. I finally got to take a shower last night at my ost family. I am mucky that i live with a well off family or i would of been taking a COLD bucket bath instead of a luke warm one... i am still trying to master that area in bathroom dfferences. The Dar Chabeb is closed for most of Ramadan so my awesome group of YDs with me here are just trying to undestand a little bit of conversation between the family members we are living wth. I am starting to hear fa,iliar aords like "this, that, no, thank you, and bad Mimi;,"my host families cat. I have mments of feeling like i will never get this language and the host family will ALWAYS give me that " what are you talking about" look, but i know that i can do this.. sweiya b sweiya (little by little)
I also want to give my sister a HUGE hug from over the ocean... eventhough i am here and you are there... i will always be here for you... be srong little sestra... better days are ahead.. i know this because i am your older sister.... that is why :)
I will b spending time wth my host family when Ramadan ends in 7days! i can not wait to be able to eat in public again during the day... it is hard not to drink a bottle of water or apply chap stick on while in public and on a hot day to, but it has been a fun and interesting expiernce. my host family has been great! they are maling me feel very cmfortable and i am always laughing whenever i am around them. Last night while mama was filling the propane tank up in the kitchen, a HUGE ball of fire came out and i have never seen a group of women run so fast out of a room... afterwards i was in tears of laughter with my sister Nadia and Fatima_Zhara while mama was just shaking her head at us;
The food here is amazing!!!! if you are a carbaholic.Mrocco is the country for you.... bread of all shapes; sizes, and texture are here for you to try. I am trying to be god with my carb issues, but it is hard... i know once i am sworn into PC i wil be able to eat what want and not have an overly worrid host mther sitting next to me and refilling my plate every 10 mins.
i also can not wait to be able to have my wn place and be able to work out!!!! i really want to go on a run, bt a woman running and in public.. very shuma (bad bad)

I hope everyone at home is doing well while i have been over here... i am missing everyone and am hoping to get ome photos up when i can find a more trustworthy cyber.
keep in touch and i will talk to you guys again son via blog :)


16 September 2008

Atlas Mt.

HELLO ALL. this is just a message to say that all is well here in Morocco^ the food is great_ and learning how to use an Arabic keypad kinda sucks...LOL... but i am trying. I know some people posted messages to me and i will soon answer. BUt please after every comment leave your name. I have been getting messages asking for my address with no name at the end so i can not tell you °tears* PC have been great with me and my language handicap. i am not giving up any time soon:) but it is hard... WISH ME LUCK. sweay sweay... Little by Little.

11 September 2008


Well today is the last day of staging at the hotel in Rabat. I have got A LOT to read in the next couple days, but I am excited about it all! Our Program Manager for YD seems totally awesome and I can not wait to work with him starting Friday! I miss everyone back home and will be thinking of you as i begin the real hard work tomorrow. I will be having 11 weeks of language (4 hours plus a day) and skill training . I will not be near the internet or phone for a while and I am needing to connect with my host family and program so I can learn the language and culture in these intense next 11 weeks. If you do not hear from me much in the next few weeks that is why... i still will be missing you all like crazy! Please by all means send me some snail mail to keep me company and getting some form of english to me:) there is something very beautifully spiritual about this place, something that is not found back in the states. 

08 September 2008


HELLO FROM PHILLY! well today is the day folks! MOROCCO here I come:) I am totally pumped. Staging was LONG but informative. I am nervous about learning the language but I will try to have faith in myself to do it! My roomie Lisa and one of the coolest girls I have met here. Man packing really foes suck and i lost the blue thing that helps space bags suck the air out of them.. ek! wish me luck in finding that thing somewhere in my 60+ lbs of stuff! 
well i g2g! next time i will write will be from MOROCCO! 

19 August 2008

What a way to say Goodbye!

This weekend up in GR was amazing! I was touched upon how many people came out throughout the weekend to wish me luck:) I had a great time on Thursday celebrating my good buddy Matthew's birthday, going with Becky to the Billy Idol/Def. Leopard concert blew me away on Friday (Rebel Yell!). I never thought 50+ year old men could look that good without a shirt on. Saturday was a picture perfect day at Rosy Mound in Grand Haven where sun bathing, skinny dipping, and doing a mini-hike was the high-light of the day. Sunday at Billy's was the perfect way to say goodbye to my friends and to good ole GR where I have spent the last 4 years of my life. I will miss you all so much:) 

10 August 2008

Family Going-Away Party

I just wanted to thank my family for coming out today to wish me luck on my trip that is only 4 WEEKS AWAY! woohoo! The company was great and all the cards with kind words written were touching and made me smile. I am planning on writting everyone back and sending this website page to them so they can keep up with my life over-seas.I will miss everyone dearly and will be thinking about them while I am away.

30 July 2008

I am not very good at this whole "blog" thing.. please help:)

I heard from my good pal Katie that only those who have a gmail account can comment.. SORRY! I do not know how to fix that yet, BUT if anyone does know and can help me with this issue would be awesome! I will even through in a free kitten.. not the ugly ones.. the real cute fluffy ones... that is how bad I want to fix this

25 July 2008


Well I thought that I would start a Blog while I am away in Morocco for the Peace Corps. This will be a way for everyone to keep up on things that are going on for me over in Morocco.  Friends and family can write me and comment anytime they want:) 
I hope everyone enjoys the site, and I look forward to using it to keep in touch with people back home in the states. 

Hillary Lynn. 

* Peace Corps disclaimer*
Anything I write on this site are not the views of Peace Corps, but my own personal  comments. Anything written on this blog site do not reflect anyone else involved in the Peace Corps.